From Friday, Nov. 15 through Monday, Nov. 21, BAM presents Brett Story’s remarkable new documentary, official BAMcinemaFest 2019 selection “The Hottest August” (2019). The film is accompanied by In This Climate: Brett Story Selects, in which Story curates four contemporary portraits of climate change, Tuesday, Nov. 12 through Thursday, Nov. 14.
BAM opens the first-ever New York run of Story’s rumination on the effects of climate change The Hottest August. In this urgently relevant documentary, Story poses a question to dozens of New York City residents during the sweltering summer of 2017: how do you feel about the future? The answers she receives reveal the deep-seated insecurities and anxieties underpinning life in an era when global warming and late-stage capitalism have seemingly set us on an apocalyptic path of no return. Balancing the engaging humanity of its subjects with an eerie science-fiction dread, The Hottest August is a funny, provocative, and visually mesmerizing look into our future as seen from the perilous present.
Prior to the film’s run, Story curates a sidebar of climate-related films for In This Climate: Brett Story Selects. The series begins with Alfonso Cuarón’s visceral, verité style vision of ecological disaster, mass infertility, and societal collapse, “Children of Men” (2006).
Other titles include “Darwin’s Nightmare” (2004), Hubert Sauper’s unflinching, Oscar-nominated documentary the effects of man-made climate catastrophe on a community in Tanzania; Sarah Christman’s Swarm Season (2019), a shimmering documentary meditation on survival and apocalypse set on a volcanic Hawaiian island; and visionary Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán’s mesmeric meditation on the landscapes of his country, “The Pearl Button” (2015). Says series programmer Story, “The films in this program expand our notions of both ‘climate’ and ‘crisis’ in order to provoke urgent questions about how we live now, and might live later.”